By – Opeyemi Aregbesola
Diamond Jubilee is an important milestone in a person’s life. Surviving the hurdles of life and attaining the Diamond age is something everyone looks forward to. However, providence has made it so that not everyone lives to record this milestone in prosperity and perfect health. Thus, Mashood Mustapha attaining the Diamond age with a sterling track record is a feat that must be celebrated.
Mashood Mustapha, fondly called MM by friends and associates, is an accomplished businessman and a politician of high repute. Born on 11th March 1963, into the family of Alhaji Usman and Alhaja Hassanat Mustapha in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State, MM has grown to become a shining star whose brightness illuminates the lives of those who come in contact with him.
MM is a compassionate, generous, and detribalized statesman. To him, everyone is equal irrespective of religion, ethnicity, and political leanings. His penchant for giving is further reflected in the way both the young and old troops to his GRA Ilorin residence whenever he is in town. MM’s plan to establish a foundation that will cater to the indigents is a testament to his magnanimity. Like or hate him, MM has built a legacy that will outlive him.
Mashood Mustapha’s political journey is intriguing. MM made inroads into the murky waters of politics in 2001 after successfully building a professional career that spanned 2 decades. When MM ventured into politics, he was fully prepared to swim with the sharks having been groomed on the nitty-gritty of politics by his father who was a Finance Commissioner for Kwara State in the Second Republic. MM has greatly mastered the art of politics; little wonder why he has remained relevant in Kwara political settings.
MM was a force to be reckoned with in the 8 years (2003-2011) administration of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. He served the administration in different capacities as Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, and Deputy Director General of Mandate Campaign Organization for the re-election of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the Executive Governor of Kwara State. He also served as Commissioner for Lands and Housing, and Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources.
In 2011, Mashood Mustapha contested the House of Representatives position under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and was elected through popular vote to represent the good people of Ilorin West/Asa Federal Constituency where he brought to bear his wealth of experience in the service of his fatherland. While in the House of Reps, he was the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream); a Member, House Committee on Marine Transport, Environment, Privatization, and Commercialization; Federal Capital Territory (FCT); Steel, Industries, National Population Commission, Drugs, Narcotics, and Financial Crimes; HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control, and Niger Delta Ministry. MM left an indelible mark on the lives of his constituents and his performance as an Honorable member of the House of Representatives was impressive.
His versatility as well as the ability to network well with Honorable Members and Senators, earned him the position of Special Adviser to the Senate President on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, Protocol, and Special Duties. In 2015, MM was appointed as the Coordinator of the Kwara State chapter of the Buhari/Osinbajo campaign organization and he performed excellently.
MM is the pioneer of the most formidable political group in Kwara state, Team MM. This group cuts across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State with thousands of members. Team MM was established in 2017 for the actualization of the governorship ambition of Mashood Mustapha.
Mashood Mustapha was a major contender for the governorship seat in 2018 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state. However, he was schemed out of the party’s gubernatorial primaries by retrogressive elements within the APC. His decision to forgive those behind his political woes for the overall interest of the party earned him the love and admiration of his party members and political disciples.
Despite the brazen betrayal of MM by some party leaders, he participated actively as the vice Chairman of the 2019 APC Strategy Group. The group which comprises movers and shakers of Kwara politics was established to ensure the victory of the APC during the 2019 general elections. MM also organized a campaign rally for the election of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as Kwara State Governor in 2019. MM’s efforts and those of other loyal party members yielded the desired result when the party’s governorship candidate emerged victorious at the poll. If MM had not jettisoned his personal interest for the overall interest of the state, the APC would have lost the 2019 governorship election.
MM retained his vice Chairmanship seat when the 2019 APC Strategy Group metamorphosed into the 2023 APC Strategy Group. As the Vice Chairman of the group, MM played a laudable role in brokering peace amongst conflicting factions in the APC, especially, in Kwara Central Senatorial District ahead of the 25th February Presidential and National Assembly elections. The victory of the APC in Kwara Central was partly due to MM’s mediatory efforts. MM is also working assiduously towards the re-election of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq having been satisfied with his performance in the last 4 years. MM’s political trajectory over the years has proven that he is a patriotic statesman who places common interests above personal interests.
Aside from being a political strategist par excellence, MM also has an impressive business profile. MM is an astute businessman whose business conglomerate cuts across countries like Ghana, Dubai, and Burkina Faso. He is the Chairman/CEO of Crystal Group Nigeria Limited, Crystal House Ghana Limited, and Crystal Trading Company Dubai, UAE. He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Patrons of the Nigeria-Guinea Bissau Chamber of Commerce, and Patron of the Ilorin Elite Club. MM’s business empire has created jobs for both skilled and unskilled labour across Africa.
MM has over the years, received several awards for his socio-economic contributions to the development of his fatherland. In 2020, MM was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Olu-Omo of Yorubaland in Ghana.
As someone who has worked closely with MM for years, I make bold to say that the likes of Mashood Mustapha are rare. Aside from being a critical thinker, MM is goal-driven and he pushes those around him to aspire for greatness. I wish him the best as he sails through the Diamond age.